Back Yard / Lawn Help?

This is a discussion on Back Yard / Lawn Help? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My stepson asked me to help figure out what to do about his back yard. It's on a slop, had grass till he got a ...

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Thread: Back Yard / Lawn Help?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Back Yard / Lawn Help?

    My stepson asked me to help figure out what to do about his back yard. It's on a slop, had grass till he got a couple dogs - now dirt, dust & of course when rains, mud and yard going down hill with the rain.

    He doesn't need to hear "get rid of the dogs" - I've already kidded him enough about that.

    Any suggestions - tough grass that'd hold up to dogs running - running - running around and such???

    Thanks in advance.
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    My bermuda grass stands up to my chickens and dogs. They have only worn a single path in it where they run from the back porch to the front porch.
    Last year we burned in 3 separate places in the spring (when we cut down a tree) and by fall it had all grown back in, and I don't water my grass either.

    What kind of grass grows in AL and what kind did he have before?
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    St. Augustine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyCop View Post
    My stepson asked me to help figure out what to do about his back yard. It's on a slop, had grass till he got a couple dogs - now dirt, dust & of course when rains, mud and yard going down hill with the rain.

    He doesn't need to hear "get rid of the dogs" - I've already kidded him enough about that.

    Any suggestions - tough grass that'd hold up to dogs running - running - running around and such???

    In your part of the country almost anything can grow. Rye is often used as starter grass. Creeping Red Fesque is hearty and can be planted on slopes. Zoysia plugs. Zoysia creeps about 2' or more a year. Plugs are often planted on golf course fairways in rows spaced 2-4' apart. After a year or two, you have very dense lush carpet. Hydro seeding is one way. to plant on a steep slope. You can also rent an aerator and over-seed. Either method will help keep the birds from eating the seed. Plugs would be my first choice.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Terrace the backyard.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Build a tall retaining wall at the bottom, eventually his yard will level off!
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    Member Array TXcougar8000's Avatar
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    Pics would help, but depending on the soil condition, tilling up the ground a bit and re-seeding with some St. Augustine should do it. Worse case scenario would be to re-turf the whole yard. St Augustine is a a very hardy grass as long as it's got water. The roots are especially strong, so that will help you "keep ground" so to speak regarding the sloping. Scotts makes a lot of great products (starter soils, seedling fertilizers, turf builder, green max, etc...) that wil definitely aid in getting the yard in shape. Nothing is immediate though, so consistency regarding the fertilization schedule, watering, and cuts are all key. Hope you find a solution!
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    Member Array Bhamrichard's Avatar
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    St. Augustine, my dad planted that stuff 40 years ago in his yard. Took over everything, killed out the weeds and the other grass that was in the yard. Dogs that he had (big hunting hounds) never did wear that stuff out.
    When I bought my house I got a few sprigs and started it growing in my yard too.
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    Zoysia grass is incredibly durable for traffic and for erosion resistance. I've used it successfully on a 20-30 degree slope specifically for erosion purposes. It is drought resistant, disease resistant, and it develops such a tight thatch that it chokes out most common weeds. No more fields of dandelions. It works well in full sun and tolerates medium but not full shade.

    There are some drawbacks. Zoysia is typically "installed" by plugs or by sod, and it is not quick to propagate. My 1/4-acre slope took about 3 years to develop a full carpet, and I used annual ryegrass overseeding to retain soil until the zoysia coverage was complete. In cooler zones (my experience was in New England), once the average temps drop below about 60F or so, the grass turns a straw color until the next spring. The other thing is that it is a coarse-bladed grass, the complete opposite of a putting green with respect to how it feels to walk on it barefoot.

    One other potential drawback is that since zoysia is a non-native species, certain states restrict its sale and use to limit its "invasiveness." Here in AZ apparently I can only buy it as sod and not as plugs, which is the more economical approach I prefer.
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    Senior Member Array 1911PKR's Avatar
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    gasmitty, when did they start growin' grass in Arizona?... thought all you guys had rock yards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911PKR View Post
    gasmitty, when did they start growin' grass in Arizona?... thought all you guys had rock yards.
    It was a shock to me when I moved out here from New England!!! Of course every plant and tree has its own IV water drip...
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Zoysia grass is incredibly durable for traffic and for erosion resistance. I've used it successfully on a 20-30 degree slope specifically for erosion purposes. It is drought resistant, disease resistant, and it develops such a tight thatch that it chokes out most common weeds. No more fields of dandelions. It works well in full sun and tolerates medium but not full shade.

    There are some drawbacks. Zoysia is typically "installed" by plugs or by sod, and it is not quick to propagate. My 1/4-acre slope took about 3 years to develop a full carpet, and I used annual ryegrass overseeding to retain soil until the zoysia coverage was complete. In cooler zones (my experience was in New England), once the average temps drop below about 60F or so, the grass turns a straw color until the next spring. The other thing is that it is a coarse-bladed grass, the complete opposite of a putting green with respect to how it feels to walk on it barefoot.

    One other potential drawback is that since zoysia is a non-native species, certain states restrict its sale and use to limit its "invasiveness." Here in AZ apparently I can only buy it as sod and not as plugs, which is the more economical approach I prefer.
    My yard is all zoysia. I have been told it is actually not grass. It sure looks like grass to me. It is extremely drought resistant. It does creep and it is hard to control if you don't want it. I never planted any. It crept over from the other side of the street. It will go dormant and change to straw color from about the end of Oct, to early March around here. I have seen plugs that can be bought by mail order. If I were to buy it as sod, I think I would cut it into plugs. The golf courses around here plant plugs in rows 2 feet apart each way. No need to till the old grass.
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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    Build a tall retaining wall at the bottom, eventually his yard will level off!
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tala View Post
    My bermuda grass stands up to my chickens and dogs. They have only worn a single path in it where they run from the back porch to the front porch.
    Last year we burned in 3 separate places in the spring (when we cut down a tree) and by fall it had all grown back in, and I don't water my grass either.

    What kind of grass grows in AL and what kind did he have before?
    +1 on bermuda grass...... Sounds like it'd be great for his purpose. They use it a lot on football fields and baseball fields because it's tough, roots well and in my yard, tends to want to crawl into and fill up my horseshoe pits. Unlike a lot of grasses, it doesn't just grow pretty much straight up. It spreads out and seeks new places to take root very fast! And it's actually hard to get rid of once you have it which is what it seems to be what he needs in this case.
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  16. #15
    Member Array rickmn50's Avatar
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    I agree with AutoFan...Terrace the backyard.
    Best Regards from Minnesota,

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